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cubest 028 by the cube orchestraIt's the summer break, giving me time to work on another selection of Cube Orchestra gems. I wasn't sure I had much to work with, but it came together very quickly and I'm very happy with how it has turned out

It's a sad reflection of our recent line-ups that six out of the eight tracks feature me on drums. You can clearly hear the difference when Matthew takes a turn on 'The Gift Of The Gab'! But I'm not alone in my imperfection, there are plenty of occasions where a player is off on one and the notation is hit and miss. I guess that's the nature of improvisation, but when it comes to the Cubest series there are times when I kinda wish we'd recorded in multitrack, so I could fade someone down, so it's just as well we don't!

That said, Cubest028 is an honest reflection of our weekly moods and modes of expression and I'm constantly surprised by its infinite variety ...

Jump to Download link ... Back to Cubest series ...

Someone Shot The Speaker

2018 07 11 - Marcus Valentine: Background Voice; Keef Chemistry: Drums; Jean-Michel Maheu: Guitar, Vocals; Steve Radford: Alto Sax;

Pure punk. Jean-Michel narrates the scene, as Marcus discovers a hole in one of our PA speakers. It's cause enough to pick up an electric guitar and blast out some grungy chords. I run across the stage to jump on the drums, while Steve parps atonal on his sax. It's a good introduction to my erratic drumming technique. It has a classic punk vibe and is great fun bashing it out. You can hear me tiring and slowing the pace. Jean-Michel carries the tune to a glorious and tight finale

The Gift Of The Gab

2018 02 28 - Keef Chemistry: Melodica; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Matthew Richards: Drums; Droid: Vocals;

I like the conversation Droid is having with Matthew, while Jon sparks up a light guitar riff. We fall in step like it's a well-rehearsed tune, giving credence to what Matthew was saying. Then Droid takes to the mic and the rap flows. It's a brisk pace and he's doing brilliantly keeping up, but you can tell it's demanding. It all falls into place, with skippity beats, a funky bass and the occasional melodica twiddle. Matthew subtly orchestrates a quick end, slowing the drums in a single roll and we all follow instinctively

An Ting

2018 06 13 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Drums; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Gareth Jones: Bass;

This comes from an interesting session. We have two bass players with distinctive styles that compliment each other. Martin's bass is slappy, while Gareth plucks up the frets. I'm playing a syncopated beat on the drums and surprising myself, desperate not to mess up. Jon meanwhile is churning out a fuzzed out solo, a bit too quiet at first, but it emerges louder as the track unfolds. Halfway through he drops off, the drums back down, Martin slaps his bass, then a grungy riff appears and I'm straight in with a thrash beat and we're off! For two minutes I'm desperately bashing away seeing how long I can keep it up for. That was so much fun. Marcus joins in with crazy synth stabs and it's a total thrash fest, until I just have to stop. Jon's guitar groans gorgeously to a stunning stop

Masque Masque

2018 05 30 - Keef Chemistry: Drums; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Steve Radford: Alto Sax, Keyboards; Sophie Katakov: Guitar, Vocals; Derek Kirkup: Sax;

A different session, but just as interesting a line-up. Two saxes, plus the talented Sophie over from Paris. It's a friendly beat, but there's an underlying tone of darkness. The two saxes wail for a while, then Steve moves from sax to keyboards and finds some good places to drop in. But it's the two guitars that flavour the mix behind Sophie's fabulous vocals. The tune surges and dissipates and the guitars take turns picking out melodic licks. There's a great point mid-way where Sophie leads from the front, urging us upwards and enticing us back. Steve's astro sounds fly in and the tune finds a good place to land

Phantom Thread

2018 03 14 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Melodica, Effects; Jon Shepherd: Guitar, Vocals; Jean-Michel Maheu: Drums; Martin Urmson: Bass; Steve Radford: Alto Sax;

It's a bit of a messy start, hence the fade in, but Jon's vocals anchor us and the tune takes shape. His vocals are great, strong and clear with good lyrics. I have a strange effect on my melodica, fuzzy and distorted. Jean-Michel is playing slappity drums with the brushes. Marcus provides some lovely vibes halfway through and adds some charm. I have a bit of fun with my echo pad too. Jon ties the lyrics together during a quiet moment and I whack some echo on that too. Great ending

Against The Odds

2018 05 30 - Marcus Valentine: Screams; Keef Chemistry: Drums; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Steve Radford: Vocals, Keyboards; Sophie Katakov: Guitar; Derek Kirkup: Sax;

Back to the other session, with spacey sounds from Steve and a steady bass from Martin. Sophie is turning out a nice jangly guitar sound, while Jon has a heavy chorus effect on his guitar. I whack out a John Bonham beat and it's off we go. That is, until I drop out and it all goes spacey again. The pace picks up here and it begins to get really heavy, building well. I love the guitar in each ear. Steve mutters some doom-laden words and we even out a bit. Martin works up the frets, Sophie picks out melodies while Jon powers the chords out. There's so much to tune in to. I especially like the growl of Martin's bass. It's getting so heavy that screams can be heard and the whole edifice crumbles under them. Sophie asks what it was and Jon shrewdly infers it was Marcus transmitting from the projection room

If You See The Light Just Turn Away

2018 06 13 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Vocals, Drums; Jon Shepherd: Guitar; Martin Urmson: Bass; Gareth Jones: Bass; Yhonet Garcia: Vocals;

Gospel. Despite there being six of us there's a nice sparseness to this arrangement. It's textbook stuff, but it does allow Marcus the space to let loose. The lyric came to me straight away, right at the start, and I had to then try to get it together to play drums as well. I almost lose it here and there but think I get away with it. Yhonet provides some lovely backing vocals, nice and bluesy. It's a lazy pace and hits all the right notes

Take Me To The Angels

2018 06 13 - Marcus Valentine: Keyboards; Keef Chemistry: Drums; Martin Urmson: Bass; Gareth Jones: Bass; Yhonet Garcia: Vocals;

From the same session as the previous tune, the last of the evening and in my beer haze I inadvertently twiddle the wrong knob on the mixer, pumping Yhonet's vocal straight into channel two on the recording. I had to rescue the track with some nifty mid-side jiggery-pokery and I think it sounds great. Yhonet's softly-sung vocals are captivating, part lyrical, part scat. It drifts along and we're carried with it. I'm standing in front of the drums, dusting them down with the brushes. Marcus is playing with the scale, while Gareth and Martin play bass like twins. Jon had had to leave by this time. Yhonet's voice is enchanting and the tune has a dream-like quality, right to the impressive end notes, tight as

- keef chemistry

Download the zip file here (8 tracks @ 320kbps = 89mb):
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Last edited November 9, 2023 4:40 pm by Keefchemistry (diff)